CicLAvia San Fernando Valley

















Shot these for my work blog. CicLAvia is L.A.'s version of an open streets event in which roads are closed to motor vehicles and opened up to bikes, pedestrians and skaters. They're a lot of fun and a nice sign that the L.A. area is evolving into something beyond a constant trafficpalooza. 

My employer -- Metro, the county transit agency -- sponsored the event, as they have in the past. I've taken my camera to a few CicLAvias but spent most of the time riding my bike instead of shooting. This time, I parked my bike most of the time and really worked on my photography, especially trying to find shots that were original and focused on people as much as the bikes and big crowds (tens of thousands of people turned out). 




That said, while I think the pics capture the fun of the event, I'm not sure they fully capture what happens when a car-centric slice of the San Fernando Valley is taken over by bikes. Probably the best Valley photo above is the one taken from inside a Studio City lingerie store looking out at the street. I intended it as a sly nod to the Valley's long affiliation with the porn industry (see: "Boogie Nights"). Perhaps too sly. I'm told there was an adult literature store along the route, but I missed it and not sure I could have gotten away with that for the government website -- although tempting to try. 

My favorite of the shot? Probably the last one of the New Orleans Jazz Band making their way down the street with the black/white shot of the band my second fave. The mime shot is the weirdest -- I took it only because I couldn't figure out who invited a mime to an open streets thing :) 

Everything was taken with my Nikon Df, mostly with the cheapo 70-300mm telephoto lens; I also had a 50mm 1.8 lens (another cheapo) and the 18-35mm 3.5 with me (sharp and cheaper than the other wide angle zooms for full frame).

The above photos are also posted on Metro's Flickr page, where free full-resolution downloads are available. Please feel free to download, print, share, use, etc! 

--S.H. 

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